So waaaaay back in October, I mentioned that I’d made a photo book in September for my daughter with photos from our beach vacation this past summer. I have to say, this project changed the way I’ve been thinking about photobooks.
Previously, I thought photo books were a prohibitive amount of work– my experience (a LONG time ago) with the online book-making software from the different developers was hard to work with (and I didn’t get exactly what I envisioned because of the software limitations)… and then there was that Corsica photobook, which merited a mini-series on my blog because I did the entire thing from scratch, starting with making my own digital templates.
My other experience with photobooks was to use them as a way to display a small subset of favorite photobooks from photo-shoots: in those books it was basically one photo per page, and no text. That makes it pretty easy, but less of a memory-keeping/scrapbook and more of a display book. Which I love, but they don’t tell much of a story on their own.
So, I keep getting those free photo book offers (I know I’m not the only one), and I hated letting them expire without using them, but I had built up photobooks in my head as this big, enormous, difficult project! Finally, in September, I got an offer I just couldn’t let pass. And I had the perfect set of photos (namely, a defined event with a beginning and an end): our beach vacation last summer.
This time, I was so pleasantly surprised by my experience with Shutterfly’s book-making software! Not only have the background/layout options expanded enormously from my past experience (which was in like, 2007!), but the software has so many more capabilities than in the past. They have a feature that allows you to change virtually anything about the layout of the page: the number of photos, their sizes and placement, text boxes, even adding coordinating embellishments!
In short, it was basically digital scrapbooking!! I was impressed. And for me, who knows enough about PSE to be dangerous, but not enough to be efficient/quick, it was the best of both worlds.
I managed to make a 20-page book containing 117 photos plus text in less than a week of “free” time. I LOVE paper scrapbooking, but I cannot pretend that I would have been able to do a comparable project in that short amount of time with traditional supplies. I LOVE how it turned out, too! Granted, I couldn’t add shadows under the digital stickers, etc. the way I perhaps would have done with PSE, but I was very impressed with the selection and quality of digital supplies provided.
And the best part is, my little girl, who loves books, can page through it to her heart’s content– and if it ever gets severely damaged, we can reprint the book. Just the other morning, when she woke up, she started telling her daddy about what she remembered from the beach. He was able to read to her from this photobook and they relived happy memories together with it. You can’t beat that. Paper scrapbooking is still my first “love,” but I definitely hope to make more photobooks in the near future.
Looking at the beach photobook for the very first time.
P.S. This post was in no way sponsored or solicited by Shutterfly. It’s just my own opinions about my recent experience.